Kendall suspended, Lackey fined
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics catcher Jason Kendall has been suspended four games for charging the mound and Los Angeles Angels pitcher John Lackey was fined Friday for his actions in the altercation.
Kendall also was fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball three days after going after Lackey in a game at Anaheim. Kendall appealed the suspension and was in the lineup as the A's opened a three-game weekend series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
"I don't really need to say anything until after my appeal," Kendall said before the game. "That's basically all I've been told to tell you guys."
He said he would have his appeal heard when the team is in New York to play the Yankees starting next Friday, and MLB executive vice president John McHale Jr. handles those meetings.
When asked if he would try to influence when he might have to sit out to avoid missing the Yankees series, Kendall said he wasn't sure if he had a choice of timing to serve the suspension.
"I don't know what's going to happen," he said. "I don't think it works that way."
Lackey threw a pitch to Kendall that started out high and inside, then sharply broke back toward the plate in the sixth inning of Oakland's 10-3 win on Tuesday. Kendall backed out of the batter's box, then suddenly charged the mound after Lackey said something about his elbow pad.
Kendall charged the mound and wrestled Lackey to the ground, emptying both dugouts and bullpens.
"It's not over yet," manager Ken Macha said when asked how he felt about Lackey not being suspended. "There's an appeal process. We'll see what happens."
Baseball's latest disciplinary action against Kendall comes after he received a four-game suspension in August 2004 while with the Pirates for a similar scuffle when he charged the mound in a game against Colorado after being hit by now-teammate Joe Kennedy. The lefty pitcher received a five-game suspension for the incident.
The 31-year-old Kendall, who played 150 games last year in his first season with the A's, entered Friday's game batting .225 with no home runs and seven RBI. Backup catcher Adam Melhuse is prepared to fill in whenever Kendall has to sit out.
Also Friday, the A's recalled right-hander Matt Roney from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned righty Chad Gaudin to Sacramento. The move came a day after Gaudin pitched four innings in relief of Kirk Saarloos for his first major league save in Oakland's 12-4 win over Cleveland.
With the A's short-handed in the bullpen, they needed someone available to pitch Friday -- and Gaudin probably wasn't going to pitch considering his long outing a day earlier. Roney was available for long relief.
"We needed somebody to come in here and eat up some innings," Macha said. "Nothing against Gaudin. He did a good job. He'll go down and be eligible to come back in 10 days. I think he understood, but that doesn't make it any easier. He saved the other guys."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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